Is Pat Grubb insulting your intelligence, lazy, or losing it?
In last week's edition, we covered the candidate filings for the local offices up in this fall's election. In this week’s All Point Bulletin eBulletin and on their website, Pat Grubb also summarized the candidate filings. What should have been a couple of simple paragraphs was confusing and hard to follow.
He also made an important omission and an error. This matters because the local paper should not be putting out incorrect information. Even though he does it all the time, this incorrect information is about an election and it could wrongly influence people’s decisions.
That may be what ultimately happens, but he’s left out the very important fact that there will be a special three day open filing period August 14, 15, and 16 for offices with no declared candidates in May. What seats meet this criterion?
If anyone files for any of these positions in August, that office stays on the November ballot. It is then also open to write-in candidates (provided they file properly), and whoever gets the most votes wins. But if no one files during the August open period, the office is stricken from the ballot and no write-in candidates are allowed. (RCW 29A.23.181 and 29A.24.201)
Shannon posted this information on Nextdoor on Tuesday because she called the Auditor’s office to get the information. Grubb still hadn’t figured it out by Thursday. Here’s the notice from the Auditor’s Office dated Friday the 24th:
For the positions open in Point Roberts, a candidate’s name cannot appear on the ballot more than once. (RCW 29A.36.201) For this reason, Stephen Falk had to decide between running for his position on the PR Parks Board or for the Hospital District. He chose the Hospital District. But he did not choose his current seat, position 1. Why? Because that is a four year unexpired term which means he would have to run again in four years. Instead, he ran for Dick Williams' soon to be former seat (position 2) which would give Falk a full six year term on the Hospital District.
Somehow, that fact escaped Grubbs' eagle eye:
Here's what the county auditor's web site actually says:
Vic tried to let him know on Thursday night (as a professional courtesy):
And on Friday, with the correct information, he updated the list but not the article text:
One rarely sees a piece of factual reporting that is so specific and so easily checked yet persistently wrong, all at once. Maybe he should read the Small Point Bulletin to stay better informed.
So back to the title of this edition. The candidates and remaining open positions were known on Friday, May 17. Grubb had six days to figure that out and write an accurate article. Kinda hard to believe the big, bad publisher who is not a local business but is located in Blaine would make these mistakes. Is it because he’s really busy? That’s a stretch. We know he’s still leaving two-year-old links on his home page. He sends his son to record meetings. Meg Olson writes articles based on those recordings from the comfort of her home in Coupeville. So, how could he mess up such a simple piece? Or is the question why?
Grubb's readers are the ones who might run for these offices and they should be accurately informed. Grubb's failure to do this is irresponsible and a disservice to the community.
Regular filing period—Voids in candidacy.
(1) If a void in candidacy occurs following the regular filing period and deadline to withdraw, but prior to the day of the primary, filings for that office shall be reopened for a period of three normal business days, such three-day period to be fixed by the filing officer. The filing officer shall provide notice of the special filing period to newspapers, radio, and television in the county, and online. The candidate receiving a plurality of the votes cast for that office in the general election is deemed elected.
Lapse of election when no filing for single positions—Effect.
If after both the normal filing period and special three-day filing period as provided by RCW 29A.24.171 and 29A.24.181 have passed, no candidate has filed for any single city, town, or district position to be filled, the election for such position shall be deemed lapsed, the office deemed stricken from the ballot and no write-in votes counted. In such instance, the incumbent occupying such position shall remain in office and continue to serve until a successor is elected at the next election when such positions are voted upon.
Names qualified to appear on election ballot.
The names of candidates certified by the secretary of state or the county canvassing board as qualified to appear on the general election shall be printed on the general election ballot.
If a primary for an office was held, no name of any candidate shall be placed upon the ballot at a general or special election unless it appears upon the certificate of either (1) the secretary of state, or (2) the county canvassing board.
Excluding the office of precinct committee officer or a temporary elected position such as a charter review board member or freeholder, a candidate's name shall not appear on a ballot more than once.
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